Build a mandolin

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rocket
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Build a mandolin

Post by rocket » Tue Jan 24, 2017 8:06 pm

Yeah ,, i thought i'd broaden my horizons a bit and have a go at a couple of mandolins.
I've had Siminoffs book for a few years now so that should be a bit of a guide and i'll also grab some A4 and F5 plans online and make some comparison before i get started.
If any of our members are of the more experienced in the field of Mandolins i'd be grateful of any wisdom in this endeavour you can offer! one question to start off is,,, the neck, is there any options as far as truss rod choice, double action or single?? is anyone using CF in mando necks? is anyone doing bolt on or are they all set? Just asking !!

Cheers

Rod.
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Re: Build a mandolin

Post by kiwigeo » Tue Jan 24, 2017 9:22 pm

Graham and Peter the mandolin gurus around here. Graham's written a few books that are must haves if you're serious about mandoliins. Not sure if Peter has written any books...if he hasn't then maybe it's time he did :mrgreen:
Martin

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Re: Build a mandolin

Post by peter.coombe » Wed Jan 25, 2017 8:12 am

No I have not written any books, but there is a fair amount of info on my web page in the construction section including Lynn Dudenbostle's pictures on making a F5 mandolin. Siminoff's book is excellent except for the chapter on tap tuning so you are off to a good start. Rip that chapter out and burn it.
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Re: Build a mandolin

Post by Mark McLean » Wed Jan 25, 2017 8:13 am

+1 for recommending Graham McDonald's books. I am having a go at a bouzouki/mandolin/guitar hybrid kind of thing at the moment. I bought Graham's two construction manuals - The Mandolin Project and The Bouzouki Book - and both are invaluable for plans, techniques and construction tips. Rod, since you already have a lot of guitar construction experience you would find these a great way to bridge you across to the specific issues of a new instrument type.
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Re: Build a mandolin

Post by kiwigeo » Wed Jan 25, 2017 9:18 am

peter.coombe wrote: Siminoff's book is excellent except for the chapter on tap tuning so you are off to a good start. Rip that chapter out and burn it.
LOL..... :D
Martin

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Re: Build a mandolin

Post by blackalex1952 » Wed Jan 25, 2017 5:52 pm

I have two Siminoff books. Both have tap tuning references, some chapters quite interesting including string tension data and deflection testing pictures. But nothing I haven't found elsewhere. But the tap tuning ideas in that book are as useful as the proverbial Irish tap dancer...broke his leg in the sink. :roll:
I have played Irish mandolins by Jack Spira, which are excellent, he might be open to a chat but he is focused and busy in his work. Gerry Hale at the Guitar Gallery in Johnson st Fitzroy often has Jack's Irish bouzouks in the shop. The best sounding Aussie f hole gibson mando I have played was made by Arnold Black, he is probably approachable also. I haven't seen many Aussie mandos but the Black my mate has sounds sweet, fat and loud and holds its own in a crowded room acoustically. Drowns out all the other mandos, guitars and banjos in the pub...Cheers!
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Re: Build a mandolin

Post by blackalex1952 » Wed Jan 25, 2017 6:05 pm

I am wondering where I can get ( in Aust) some press fit ferrules for an old Neapolitan Mandolin, and can see a range of measurements so I can match the string post diameter up, rather than purchasing a whole new set of tuners...? It's not worth much, an old Canora. I just did a neck reset on it. Lucky it had a dovetail neck join. -Ross
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Re: Build a mandolin

Post by routout » Fri Jan 27, 2017 4:33 pm

How many ferrules do you need I think they are much the same looking at an old set I have on an Instrument then some cheapy friction pegs i have look the same I have 3 :) 11 mm OD and 8 on the press fit with a ID of 5mm and the mando has 6 mm I could drill em .
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Re: Build a mandolin

Post by blackalex1952 » Fri Jan 27, 2017 9:26 pm

Oh thank you for that! 6mm ID and 8mm OD for the press fit. Its an instrument to be 'kept in the family' so to speak, as the muso who passed it on to me said. He didn't want to give it to someone who had the attitude of onselling it. Wanted to keep it in the hands of players on a community level or to be lent to kids interested in learning. To pay a luthier to fix it was way beyond its sale value anyway. I agreed to fix it (because I get great satisfaction from being an altruistic human being, I get to feel the gratitude of being unconditional sometimes, regularly-it makes up for the mindfield I have to navigate in this world) and will keep it in one of two rural communities where it will benefit people, and even be played by semi pros in community fund raising gigs. If these are suitable for the job I'll pm you re details. At present, the tuners without the ferrules are impossible to turn and otherwise in good nick and much better that cheap Chinese ones off ebay. -Cheers, Ross
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Re: Build a mandolin

Post by blackalex1952 » Fri Jan 27, 2017 9:26 pm

Oh thank you for that! 6mm ID and 8mm OD for the press fit. I need all eight bushes. Its an instrument to be 'kept in the family' so to speak, as the muso who passed it on to me said. He didn't want to give it to someone who had the attitude of onselling it. Wanted to keep it in the hands of players on a community level or to be lent to kids interested in learning. To pay a luthier to fix it was way beyond its sale value anyway. I agreed to fix it (because I get great satisfaction from being an altruistic human being, I get to feel the gratitude of being unconditional sometimes, regularly-it makes up for the mindfield I have to navigate in this world) and will keep it in one of two rural communities where it will benefit people, and even be played by semi pros in community fund raising gigs. If these are suitable for the job I'll pm you re details. At present, the tuners without the ferrules are impossible to turn and otherwise in good nick and much better that cheap Chinese ones off ebay. -Cheers, Ross
"Everything I say on the topic is based solely upon inexperience and assumption!"

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Re: Build a mandolin

Post by routout » Sat Jan 28, 2017 8:15 am

I just realized I have 8 on an old instrument I forgot about in the let's call it the (forgotten shed) :) these will be the rite size if in a hundred years I need to replace them I can spin them up on the lath all good then . :D
John ,of way too many things to do.

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Bob Connor
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Re: Build a mandolin

Post by Bob Connor » Sat Jan 28, 2017 10:04 am

Lads - can we keep this post on topic.

It was started by Rod as an enquiry on mandolin construction and seems to have morphed into a discussion of where to buy mandolin ferrules.

Please start a new thread ratherr than hijacking someone elses.

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routout
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Re: Build a mandolin

Post by routout » Sat Jan 28, 2017 10:13 am

Oops sorry Mr Rocket ,About Mando's stick with the scale length most common I had trouble tuning my modded one :lol: Check out Sierra Hull.
John ,of way too many things to do.

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rocket
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Re: Build a mandolin

Post by rocket » Sat Jan 28, 2017 1:15 pm

peter.coombe wrote:No I have not written any books, but there is a fair amount of info on my web page in the construction section including Lynn Dudenbostle's pictures on making a F5 mandolin. Siminoff's book is excellent except for the chapter on tap tuning so you are off to a good start. Rip that chapter out and burn it.
Thanks for the bit of info there Peter,[ hope to see you at Port Fairy again this year]
I think Siminoffs plans will be very useful although i find it strange that he suggests to carve the inside of the plates before the outer, somehow i don't think ill be following that directive!
I've had several offers of a loan of Graham's book on mandolin construction so along with that and the literature i already have i should be able to make a start soon.
A few years back at a festival, Bob had a mando on show that was really just like a miniature cutaway arch top
, always stuck in my mind how nice it looked so since Bob has offered his pattern and specs for that i think i'll build that one, and an F style along side .
There now that should keep me quiet for a bit!

Cheers

Rod.
Like I said before the crash, " Hit the bloody thing, it won't hit ya back

www.octiganguitars.com

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Re: Build a mandolin

Post by blackalex1952 » Sat Jan 28, 2017 1:28 pm

Sorry Bob! Guilty as charged, but already aware of that and had sent pm last night to continue. Well moderated! -Ross
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routout
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Re: Build a mandolin

Post by routout » Sun Jan 29, 2017 7:29 am

Keeping with the theme Mr Rocket here is my take on the F style Mando going back 10 years ,( how time flies ) thought I would have some fun with the head stock and tail piece who knows where it is now fire wood I guess . :lol:
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Re: Build a mandolin

Post by peter.coombe » Sun Jan 29, 2017 9:51 am

Thanks for the bit of info there Peter,[ hope to see you at Port Fairy again this year]
I think Siminoffs plans will be very useful although i find it strange that he suggests to carve the inside of the plates before the outer, somehow i don't think ill be following that directive!
Ah yes, forgot about that. It is strange and I don't know of anyone who does it that way. I have always carved the outside first.

I won't be at Port Fairy this year. Too busy on another owner builder project, but will be at the National.
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Re: Build a mandolin

Post by Robbie O'Brien » Tue Jan 31, 2017 3:34 am

Geoff Burghardt has an online video course on mandolin construction

http://www.obrienguitars.com/courses/mandolin/

Here is a sample lessons video.
youtu.be/
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Re: Build a mandolin

Post by blackalex1952 » Sun Feb 05, 2017 5:24 pm

Don't know if these plans are any help.http://web.archive.org/web/200407271824 ... com/plans/
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rocket
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Re: Build a mandolin

Post by rocket » Wed Feb 15, 2017 8:31 pm

So as Bob has requested I'll try to stay on topic here,
The same Bob has so generously loaned me Graham Mc Donald's book , The mandolin project, Thanks Bob, very helpful.
Seeing as this is a new venture for me I might make it a bit of a build thread, and as I said earlier I'm tackling two builds at once, one is the F5 - Siminoff and the other maybe called an A style - Connor cross.
So far I've got the mould together for the F5, this will have maple back and sides , Sitka top and maple neck.
The Connor cross has Blackwood back and sides and Huon pine top thanks Bob ,Blackwood neck.
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Like I said before the crash, " Hit the bloody thing, it won't hit ya back

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Graham McDonald
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Re: Build a mandolin

Post by Graham McDonald » Fri Mar 03, 2017 9:52 pm

Feel free to drop me an email if you have any questions. Always happy to offer advice/clarifications.

I like the mini guitar shape


Cheers
Graham McDonald
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rocket
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Re: Build a mandolin

Post by rocket » Sat Mar 04, 2017 9:52 am

I stuffed the arching up on the Huon pine top so I've selected some Sitka I had on hand,just fitting the bracing at the moment but here's some pics of the arched top.

Cheers

Rod.
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rocket
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Re: Build a mandolin

Post by rocket » Mon Mar 06, 2017 11:38 am

Got the sides in the mould and the top brac d and glued
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rocket
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Re: Build a mandolin

Post by rocket » Mon Mar 06, 2017 4:16 pm

Back set ready to glue up
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Re: Build a mandolin

Post by rocket » Sat Mar 18, 2017 5:58 pm

Got the top on the A and carving the back,started the F, pulling my hair out fitting the blocks but got there .
Cheers

Rod.
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